ON THE WATER
If you are ready for a Sayulita adventure that will be a delight for any age group, try taking a boat tour and discover some of the wonders just a short distance from Sayulita. A day trip to the nearby Marieta Islands offers the chance to see more of the beautiful bay, while experiencing the delight of seeing sea creatures, great and small. With transportation to and from the boat provided in most cases, you will be able to relax and enjoy your adventure from beginning to end. Activities on and off the boat make for a fun day for all ages. Snorkeling, swimming, and fishing are just some of the things you may enjoy. Alternatively, you can sit back, relax and enjoy a tropical drink while scanning the water for signs of a breaching whale or dolphin.
Try a Sayulita boat tour on the picturesque Banderas Bay and experience the sea's magical abundance of wildlife, including breaching whales (November - March), leaping dolphins, and leisurely gliding turtles or magestic rays, bringing the water to life! Let the warm tropical breezes caress your face as you embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to exhilarating snorkeling spots, exclusive remote islands, and majestic rock formations rising from the ocean floor. You can even throw a line in the water to fish on the way out to the islands. Or simply indulge in a tranquil sightseeing sail into a paradise of azure sea and sky. So take a seat in the sun, or shade if you prefer, and prepare to be amazed! In most cases, drinks and delicious food are provided.
Sayulita and nearby Banderas Bay offers 62 miles of beautiful beaches, tantalizing landscapes, and natural wonders. An important breeding and birthing ground for humpback whales, this bay is Mexico's third largest, (though locals like to claim it is the largest), and one of the deepest in the world, with recorded depths of over 3,000 feet. It is host to thousands of species of marine life, such as giant manta rays, dolphins, marlin, sailfish, and a myriad of other fine game fish that live in deep water. Olive Ridley turtles can sometimes be spotted from the boat, and their gracefulness in the water is a sight to see. Likewise the manta rays, whose almost bird-like "wings" gently flap so that they appear to be flying under the water. Keep your eyes open for a Spotted Eagle Ray. Although they are smaller than the huge Manta Rays, they are covered in polka-dotted spots and are delightful to see.
Sailing and boating excursions may take you to the mysterious coves of the Marieta Islands. Surrounded by coral reefs, this is both a natural and government-protected sanctuary for sea turtles, and the Blue Footed Booby birds, whose bright blue feet will surprise you. The males show their bright blue feet and lift them up and down in an elaborate mating dance to attract the ladies. Their eggs also do not hatch all at the same time, which can lead to differences in sizes/ages of offspring. In order to protect the environment, the government regulates the number of visitors and the time allowed at the islands, but you will have time to snorkel in this beautiful place and enjoy the hidden "lover's beach". Also please note that your captain will follow the rules of the Mexican Government and will not get too close, chase or harm the whales or sea life in any way, so you can be assured that you will get to see the whales up close, but will cause no harm. Keep your eyes open for baby whales. The females give birth in these warm tropical waters, and the babies spend a lot of time close to the surface, which can make them easier to spot.
Although some panga boat tours depart directly from the Sayulita beach, the larger boat tours depart from the state-of-the art marina at La Cruz Huanacaxtle with round-trip transportation provided from Sayulita. This offers you the chance to sit back, relax, and simply enjoy the day without worrying about driving to and from the boat. And don't worry, the larger boats that depart from the marina have bathroom facilities on board as well as plenty of comfortable places to sit and hang out, both in the sun and in the shade. As great as the onboard facilities are, don't forget the activities off the boat are fun too! Enjoy paddleboarding, which affords you a stand-up view of the fish and sea life that you may not notice otherwise. Snorkeling, swimming and kayaking are other fun ways to get close to nature and the beautiful ocean.
Your day trip can include delicious breakfast and lunch, snacks, beverages (including your favorite cocktail!), snorkeling equipment, fishing gear, stand up paddle boards, kayaks, transportation to and from the boat, and much more. Music is an added bonus, and some boats have a hydrophone, which when placed in the water, allows you to hear whales over the boat's speakers! This is an exciting and magical experience and allows you to feel the presence of whales even if they aren't appearing above the surface that day. A complete list of tour providers in Sayulita can be found on our Tours and Adventures page.
Sunscreen (please consider using reef safe sunscreen), swimsuit, towel, camera, and the desire to have fun!